UAE Space Agency Launches the First Geospatial Analytics Platform Hackathon

02 June 2023

Focusing on land use in the UAE

In line with the 'Year of Sustainability 2023' and as part of the preparations for COP28, the UAE Space Agency launched the inaugural edition of the Geospatial Analytics Platform Hackathon on Jun 1st, on the sidelines of 'Make it in the Emirates' forum. The Hackathon will focus on finding land-use changes in the UAE utilizing the Geospatial Analytics Platform which provides space data from advanced earth observation satellites.

The Hackathon will enable participants to develop unique solutions for the UAE, further supporting researchers and companies in the development of space analytics services relevant to the UAE’s environment. This falls in line with UAESA’s commitment to increase demand for space products and services from other sectors, while expanding on the market access of existing companies in the country.

The UAE Space Agency organized the Geospatial Analytics Platform Hackathon's first workshop on the sidelines of the 'Make it in the Emirates' Forum. The workshop was attended by organizations and entrepreneurs interested in participating in the Hackathon.

"The sustainability of our planet begins with the sustainable use of our lands, protecting the environmental and ecological balance, and ensuring the future of our next generations. The Geospatial Analytics Platform is a part of our vision to support the development and sustainability efforts, as well as the national strategies, . The Hackathon will provide the ideal platform to create, learn, develop new skills, collaborate, network, and present innovative and sustainable solutions for better land use," said HE Salem Butti Salem Al Qubaisi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency.

"The transformation in land usage will have far-reaching effects on various aspects, encompassing the environment, biodiversity, soil, climate, and socio-economic factors. Recognizing the significance of safeguarding our environmental resources for future generations, the UAE Space Agency places utmost importance on advancing and implementing initiatives and projects aimed at promoting sustainability. The Space Data Center, Space Analytics and Solutions (SAS) Program and Geospatial Analytics Platform are among these initiatives. By harnessing cutting-edge satellite technologies, these endeavours actively contribute to the UAE's national strategies while supporting our vision for a sustainable future," added HE Al Qubaisi.

The Geospatial Analytics Platform Hackathon is centred around the theme of 'Transforming Land Use in the UAE.' This event will delve into various aspects of land use, including but not limited to changes in vegetation, repurposing agricultural lands for housing or industry, converting urban and industrial areas into agricultural zones, and vice versa.

The Geospatial Analytics Platform Hackathon consists of two engaging phases. The first phase spans over two weeks, starting with participant registration and ideation, culminating in the submission of a prototype by June 9th. The top five entries from the submissions will be carefully chosen to progress to the final phase, commencing on June 13th.

During the final phase, scheduled for June 20-22, a series of mentorship sessions and workshops will be conducted by a talented team of five mentors from Bayanat. These sessions aim to provide valuable guidance and support to the finalists. Furthermore, the selected teams can implement their ideas on the Geospatial Analytics Platform, leveraging cloud computing resources and the giQ environment for uploading their results.

The Hackathon will culminate in announcing the winning team and the runner-up, who will be bestowed with a remarkable opportunity to join the development team for COP28 space projects. This recognition signifies the tremendous potential of their contributions and the chance to actively participate in shaping the future of space-related endeavours.

To register or for more information on the Geospatial Analytics Platform Hackathon, please contact the project team:

A first-of-its-kind, the Geospatial Analytics Platform, aims to provide scientists, researchers, public and private entities, startups, and society members with access to satellite data to develop solutions for national and global through space applications and value-added services (VAS). The platform is a part of the transformational projects launched by the UAE government as a part of the efforts to realize the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to create the world's best and most dynamic economy.